An outbreak of the highly contagious Norovirus has closed two wards at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Officials say 16 patients and an unknown number of medical staff have been infected with the stomach flu.
The outbreak at RCH began on Dec. 24.
"In winter we see Norovirus, and this is a particularly bad year for Norovirus because there's been a change in the circulating strain," said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, medical director for infection control at Fraser Health.
"What we've done is we've restricted admissions to the two units where we've had most of the patients, just to allow us to put some control measures in place," she said, noting the closed wards are expected to re-open this week.
All infected patients and staff have either recovered or are recovering.
Also known as the Norwalk virus, Norovirus causes a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea that typically lasts between one and three days.
Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent infection, and anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home, Brodkin said.
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